Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Veepstakes

The speculation as to the candidates' Vice Presidential choices is in full-speed mode. And as usual, even as the guessing game continues apace, no one actually has any idea who will emerge as the second on the ticket.

As a Democrat I am most excited about the possibility that Joe Biden will be the one. He occasionally puts his foot in his mouth, but he is almost inarguably one of the most serious foreign policy minds on the Hill. In many ways I'd almost prefer that Biden be tagged for a post that will enable his foreign policy gravitas to shine -- State, SecDef (though I am among those who believes that keeping Robert Gates in that post would be a fine decision), NSC -- but from a purely political standpoint I am thrilled at the idea of a serious, experienced, smart Vice Presidential nominee who will both serve in that vital capacity of all seconds, attack dog, and who will also be able to advise Obama about the most important issues he will face abroad.

Biden is not perfect, but no VP nominee is for either party, and his strengths far outweigh his negatives. And I think the last generation has shown the Vice Presidency to be much more than John Nance Garner's famous formulation of being not worth "a bucket of warm piss" given the vital and active roles played by Al Gore (for good) and Dick Cheney (I'd argue for not so good), which means you want a serious person in the position and not merely a placeholder or someone who will provide little more than the coveted news cycle poll bump.


Slicer said...

I would like to see Biden get the nod as well, and would be most interested to see him in action during the VP debates. As long as he can tame his grand-standing windbag side that chimes in during committee hearing every now and again, he would do very well.

dcat said...

Slice --
I think that the campaigning format, and especially the role he will be asked to play, will help him to avoid the windbag moments, and in any case, windbag moments do not lend themselves to soundbytes, which is good. My secret desire is to see McCain pick Lieberman and then to see Biden crush Lieberman on foreign policy. Where Lieberman is lots of sound and fury. Lots and lots of fury.


GoodLiberal said...

dcat- entirely agree with you on Biden, as I think previous comments have made clear.

On the Garner quote- I have seen 'warm bucket of spit' and 'warm bucket of piss'- where does one get the definitive answer on these things?

dcat said...

Ken -- your question made me look around a bit. Check out the main page of the blog for your answer!